Baros delighted to make Premier League return

January 29, 2008

Milan Baros admits he has joined Portsmouth on loan for the chance to play in English football again.

Former Liverpool and Aston Villa forward Baros is out of favour at French champions Lyon - managed by former Pompey boss Alain Perrin - but he is in good company.

Brazil striker Fred, rated at £12million, and French internationals Sydney Govou and Hatem Ben Arfa, cannot always get into the team, either.

Hot-shot Karim Benzema, 20, is currently Perrin's choice as a lone striker with 18 goals in 27 Ligue One and Champions League appearances.

Baros admitted: 'Karim is playing well and the coach only plays one up front but I have to look after myself and coming to Portsmouth is a good solution.

'Both sides have accepted the deal and I decided it was a good chance to get back into English football. I was here five years with Liverpool and Villa and hopefully I can settle again very quickly.

'Speaking the language and knowing what is going on makes it easier and I'll be living in Portsmouth. I spoke to (Czech team-mate) Patrik Berger and he said it's a good club and a good manager.

'I know they have an option to sign me permanently in the summer but I won't think about that yet. All I want to do is my best for the club and help them into Europe which everybody here seems to want.'

Baros, 26, has made a timely arrival with David Nugent given the news that he needs a hernia operation. Nugent is going to Germany for treatment with the same surgeon who operated on Michael Owen and West Ham's Craig Bellamy earlier this season. Both are back playing.

But it is certainly little consolation to Nugent, still to score his first Premier League goal, that Pompey have been drawn against his old club Preston in the next round of the FA Cup.

And the £6million signing will, of course, also miss the clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford tomorrow night - when Baros is expected to make his debut.

Manager Harry Redknapp said: 'Baros has got every chance because Benjani (Mwaruwari) is my only other fit striker - and he's got a niggle in his neck and shoulder.

'Kanu has injured a knee in the African Nations Cup and I think it must be a nasty one because he's gone to see a specialist in France and now there is this setback for Nugent but that's probably it for me with signings in this transfer window.

'I can't keep asking the chairman for money. He's been good with it already and I've brought in Lassana Diarra, Lucien Aubey and now Baros. I'm happy enough with that. I'll be happier still when the four African Nations Cup boys are back.

'Baros is a terrific loan. I think a few other clubs would like him and I know there were one or two late calls he had trying to stop him coming here. But we've got him and I'm delighted.

'If we like him and he likes us at the end of the season then hopefully we can do a more permanent deal.

'It's going to be tough at Old Trafford. It always is but now that we can't be relegated these are bonus matches for us - if we get anything.'

Sol Campbell (back) should be fit to return after missing two games with back trouble.